With an adult obesity rate of 24.6%, causing massive issues of Diabetes Type 2 and heart disease, Nebraska is doing something about it. They are attempting to pass Legislative Bill (LB) 1123 in the Nebraska Agriculture Committee this coming Tuesday.
Called the Healthy Food Financing Initiative Act, Nebraska's legislative bill will promote and expand access to nutritious foods by creating a fund to offer grants and loans to individuals and businesses.
Interested participants will be able to do three things with the state assisted money to obtain a healthy grocery store:
Food financing initiative
A bill that failed last year, WOWT.com reports that Omaha's Senator Brenda Council has brought it to the table again in order to promote and expand access to nutritious foods throughout the entire state. With the bill, she hopes to lower Nebraska's health care costs while simultaneously opening new markets for Nebraska farmers.
The bill would create the Nebraska Healthy Food Financing Initiative at a cost of $300,000 a year. The affected areas of Nebraska would be "food deserts," (not desserts) which consists of rural and urban Nebraska where people struggling with obesity do not have access to healthy and affordable food. If it is available, it is very expensive and lacks variety in brands and food types.
Promote Expand Access
From Grand Island to Lincoln and Omaha, the food choices are entirely different than from Kearney to the western edge of the state; at least as far as the availability of healthy food is concerned. Nebraskans in towns of low populations (Minowi has a population of one person, Elsie Eiler) or in sparse counties, have the options of ordering food online, drive a long ways to shop in larger cities and spend unaffordable gas amounts, or do without and eat unhealthy foods. What many health critics do not understand is that obesity is not always a choice.
By passing LB 1123, access to healthy food in the state will be considered a basic human necessity, not an unaffordable luxury way beyond the average person's budget --- if they have one. According to Nebraska lawmakers, the lack of healthy food or healthy food at an affordable price affects low-income families, children, elderly, minorities, individuals in rural communities, and at-risk populations, creating health barriers that prevent optimum health.
American Diabetes Association advocacy group in Nebraska
When the Nebraska State Legislative began on January 4, 2012, the Affordable Care Act was implemented, which included any and all legislation that would implement Health Exchange within the state. The American Diabetes Association's advocacy that is present will defeat legislation that rolls back existing health insurance benefits for diabetic causes or legislation that will exclude them from future insurance plans. They also work with other partners to forward legislation that promotes prevention and wellness as well.